Thomas P. Luning has concentrated his practice in litigation, representing various clients in the following areas:

  • Multi-defendant and multi-district antitrust cases
  • Class actions
  • Corporate takeover litigation
  • Matters involving dealer termination
  • Distributorship agreement disputes
  • Thefts of trade secrets
  • Breach of confidentiality and non-competition agreements
  • Unfair competition
  • Securities fraud
  • Commodities fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Insurance company insolvency
  • Bankruptcy
  • Contract disputes
  • Other business, corporate and commercial claims

He served as Managing Partner of our firm from 1990 to 1996, as well as General Counsel to the firm from 1997 to 2012.

  • Experience

    His representations include:

    • A European pharmaceutical company in defending its rights to one of its most promising drugs against a suit by a top scientist who claimed to be the inventor, in U.S.-based litigation that involved discovery in Europe.
    • A major financial institution in cases involving alleged raiding of a competitor and a sensitive retaliatory discharge claim by a former officer.
    • A major insurance company in commercial general liability insurance antitrust litigation, where he had lead responsibility for coordinating the development of a multi-defendant defense plan in state court and for defense of federal court actions after remand from the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • A public utility company in a shareholder derivative action arising out of construction of a nuclear power plant. Thomas conducted the proceedings that led to the first reported decision under Illinois law to uphold the right of a special committee of a board of directors to terminate a derivative action after a special committee investigation.
    • A principal defendant company in its defense of civil and criminal actions in the Corrugated Container Antitrust Litigation. Thomas prepared the defendants’ joint economic defense for the three-and-a-half-month criminal jury trial that resulted in the acquittal of all defendants. He also was principally responsible for developing and presenting the client’s affirmative evidence. In the civil actions, he was active in organizing and coordinating joint defense activities as well as the client’s individual defense, and he had lead responsibility for development of a judgment sharing agreement among most of the defendants in the opt-out cases, which resulted in significant savings in defendants' settlements.
    • A major consumer products company in litigation arising in connection with a successful takeover. Thomas oversaw the litigation aspects of the takeover, including six lawsuits filed during the takeover and four lawsuits (including a class action) filed thereafter. All of the cases were successfully resolved, including a complex settlement of the class action involving acquisition of minority shareholders’ interests.
    • Automobile manufacturers in numerous franchise cases, including lead responsibility for the successful defense in a three-week jury trial of a case, during which he conducted extensive discovery for more than four years.
    • A major conglomerate in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit arising out of an acquisition, including extensive discovery for more than two years. He had lead responsibility for conducting a mini-trial in an alternative dispute resolution procedure that led to settlement of the lawsuit.
    • An international pharmaceutical company in a major patent-antitrust case tried to a jury for one-and-a-half months. He was responsible for development of the client’s affirmative case, including the economic defense, and for presentation of the economic defense and cross-examination of the plaintiff's only live economic witness.
    • Thomas had the lead responsibility for representing plaintiffs and defendants in cases pending in state and federal courts in Chicago, in other parts of Illinois, and in numerous other states.
  • Credentials


    • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1967
      The Georgetown Law Journal, Managing Editor
    • Xavier University, H.A.B., 1964, magna cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
    • U.S. Tax Court


      • Honorable Spottswood W. Robinson III, and to the Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (1967-1968)

      Professional Memberships

      • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation
      • Chicago Bar Association, Board of Managers, Past Member; Professional Responsibility Committee, Past Chair; Large Law Firm Committee, Past Chair
      • Illinois State Bar Association
      • Lawyers Club of Chicago
      • Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc., Past Co-Chair

      Teaching Appointments

      Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago Law School (1999-2003), “The Legal Profession” (legal ethics and other aspects of professional conduct)


      He counsels lawyers inside and outside Schiff Hardin on matters of legal ethics and lawyer conduct. He has served as co-chair of the Illinois State Bar Association/Chicago Bar Association Joint Committee on Ethics 2000, which proposed a comprehensive revision of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.

    • Insights

      Other Publications

      • “Proposed New Rules of Professional Conduct for Illinois Lawyers,” Illinois Bar Journal (Jun. 2004)
      • “Historical Perspective” Chapter, Class Actions, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) (1974, updated 2004)
      • “An Introduction to the Proposed New Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct,” Chicago Bar Record (Nov. 2003)
    • Awards & Honors

      • Illinois Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2009, 2011-2013)
      • Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2006-2011)
      • Peer Reviewed AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell (Since 1982)